The battle for talent is at an all-time high with organisations doing whatever they can to attract and retain industry-leading talent. Whether or not you choose to accept this, the reality is that we are currently in a candidate-driven market and if organisations fail to adapt, they risk falling behind in the race to the top.
I recently spoke with a client who had been struggling to remain competitive due to having a six-stage interview process, and a technical assessment which even their most Senior Engineers were unable to complete. This resulted in candidates being unwilling to go through such a long, drawn-out process or receiving offers from companies with a more streamlined process. Thankfully, they were an adaptive company who were willing to recognise their downfalls and make changes to the way they structured their interview process. Following this, they reduced the size of the process by 50% and have since been thriving ever since.
I've summarised 5 key points in which organisations can do in order to attract and retain the top talent:
A well-written and informative job post that defines abilities and needs should not only weed out unsuitable individuals.
Once applications begin to roll in you must ensure that the candidates are acknowledged and informed on the next step. When you ask someone for an interview, tell them everything they need to know beforehand, including who’s doing the interview, how long it’s likely to last, if there are any tests, and who to contact if they need to change or cancel the interview.
In some circumstances, two or three step interviews are necessary, but with the current unemployment rate at around 4.1% it is likely that you will be competing with other employers and roles and let’s face it, nobody likes the waiting game created by an unnecessarily lengthy interview process.
Most of us expect to have a couple of interviews for a position. But many more than that and you risk losing Don’t forget about video interviews either – even though things are now returning to normality after the COVID-19 pandemic, a video interview could be much quicker to schedule. And it also means you can recruit from further afield. You could always look to carry out first interviews by video and then bring the best candidates in for a face-to-face later.
Always have a plan for your interviews. You’ll want to tailor each one for the candidate you’re talking to. So, make sure you’ve studied every CV – there’s bound to be some specific skill or experience that you’ll want to ask them more about. Having said that, you’ll also want to have some standard questions you ask everyone. This is a great way to help you choose between similarly qualified candidates.
You’ve got your perfect candidate. So don’t wait around to make your offer. And when you do, make sure you give them a deadline as to when you want their decision. A couple of days should be enough, although bear in mind they might have other companies interested in them as well – so try to be flexible if they need a bit more time Once they accept, keep in touch with them before they start. This will help make onboarding go much more smoothly.
My advice is therefore aimed towards both clients and candidates. Candidates: You are in demand. Understand your value and do not settle for long drawn-out interview processes where you are made to jump through hoops which even existing employees are not able to. Clients: Adapt. It is a candidate-driven market and I appreciate that you may have traditional processes which you have worked in accordance with for many years, but the most successful organisations are those which are able adapt in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive market.
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